Federal authorities have charged 57 members of white supremacist gangs in a drug trafficking and kidnapping conspiracy.
Officials arrested 42 of the gang members last week across the North Texas area, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said Monday in a news release. Nine others were already in custody on unrelated state charges, while the feds are still searching for six more.
The defendants have ties to violent and racist prison gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood, the Aryan Circle, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, the Peckerwoods, the Soldiers of Aryan Culture and the Dirty White Boys, according to the criminal indictment, which was unsealed last week.
In January, the indictment reads, four of the suspects — Ralph Jay Adams, Jerry Wayne Lunsford, Justin Mark Nelson and Amanda Marie Gallippo — kidnapped a man in Grand Prairie, Texas, after accusing him of stealing drug money from them. Nelson, who the indictment asserts actually stole the money, "used a black hatchet to chop off a portion of Victim A's left index finger."
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"Not only do white supremacist gangs subscribe to a repugnant, hateful ideology, they also engage in significant, organized and violent criminal activity," U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement on the case. "The quantities of drugs, guns and money seized in this case are staggering."
Throughout the investigation, law enforcement officials seized 190 kg of methamphetamine, 31 guns and $376,587 in cash, according to the release. The last of the 51 defendants already in custody made their initial appearance in court on Monday.
The indictment alleges that the bulk of the defendants conspired together as part of a meth trafficking ring from October 2015 through April 2018, using stash houses and acting as brokers for one another to distribute meth throughout North Texas and elsewhere.
A criminal complaint against Joshua David Lane, the first individual named in the more recent indictment, charges that in November 2017, Lane was wanted for arrest warrants issued by Arlington police for felony burglary and was being investigated while staying at a La Quinta hotel in Euless. When he returned to the hotel on Nov. 27, police and state troopers surrounded the stolen SUV he drove.
Lane allegedly threw the SUV into reverse, crashed into an unmarked police car and reached for something police believed to be a gun. A DPS agent shot him. he was treated at a hospital and booked into the Tarrant County jail on a federal drug charge, stemming from the 111 grams police found in the hotel room Lane occupied.
Authorities say some of the defendants were also linked to a Hispanic prison gang called Tango Blast. The term "Peckerwoods," according to the indictment, refers to what started as unaffiliated white supremacists in prison who eventually coalesced into their own group, separate from the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas or the Aryan Circle.
The Dirty White Boys originated in 1985 and stem from the name of a prison softball team. The gang is now closely aligned with the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.